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Selecting an appropriate journal for manuscript submission
Criteria to consider when selecting an appropriate journal to submit your manuscript to:
- What is the scope and focus of the journal?
- What is the composition of the editorial board? Look for an editor who you think will understand the research in your manuscript?
- Are the author guidelines and the publisher's conditions acceptable?
- Does the journal have a copyright and open access policy?
- Is an Article Processing Charge required to make articles Open Access?
- What is the journal's publication schedule - how many articles/issues are in earlier volumes?
- What is the average turnaround time from submission to acceptance?
- What is the journal's rate of acceptance - some journals make this information available?
- How do the journal's ranking metrics compare with those of similar journals?
- Does the journal have an online presence and high visibility e.g. is it listed in catalogues of other university libraries and research institutions in your field of study?
- Does the journal have an ISSN?
- Are DOIs are assigned to individual articles?
- Does the journal meet the specifications required for ERA? See the box on the right titled: "ERA eligibility - journal articles".
- Is the journal listed in the current ERA Journal list? Check this via the link below.
Use the checklist on the "Choosing Quality" page of this LibGuide to help you choose a reputable publisher for your next submission.
Peer review explained
The term peer review is used interchangeably with refereed.
The quality of journal articles is controlled through the process of peer review. Peer reviewed journals are considered to have more academic integrity than journals or other publications that are not peer reviewed.
Peer review is the process by which a manuscript is evaluated by experts in the same field of research as the article. Peer reviewers recommend whether the manuscript falls within the scope and focus of the journal, provide feedback on how the article can be improved, and state whether they feel it should be accepted / rejected for publication in that journal.
Not all articles published in peer reviewed journals are refereed. Typical examples include book reviews, editorials and letters or short communications.
ERA eligibility - journal articles
In choosing where to publish your research as a journal article, be aware that your decision will determine whether the work will be counted for ERA as a Traditional Research Output (TRO).
In order for a journal article to be eligible for ERA (as a Traditional Research Output), it must:
- meet the definition of research i.e. be substantial, original and scholarly
- be a major work of scholarship
- be peer-reviewed. An acceptable peer review process is one that involves an impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication by independent, qualified experts before publication.
- be published in a journal with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or a journal listed in an authoritative listing such as the Thomson-Reuters Master Journals List, Scopus database or Ulrichs Global Serials Directory.
Types of articles unlikely to meet the ERA eligibility criteria are:
- letters to the editor
- case studies
- articles designed to inform practitioners on existing knowledge in a professional field
- articles in newspapers and popular magazines
- book reviews
- brief commentaries and communications of original research.
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